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Coffee giant in two new store expansion moves

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks Corp. is growing its store portfolio on a couple of different fronts.

The company plans to open stores under a new banner, called Starbucks-Reserve only, that will have a decidedly upscale twist. The brand will sell premium, small lot reserve coffee in a store space that is about twice the size of a typical Starbucks, zachs.com reported, and feature more of a café atmosphere.

The chain did not say how many Reserve-only stores it plans to open, but chairman and CEO Howard Schultz said there are "hundreds of opportunities [for] Reserve stores…in the U.S. alone," on a press call.

And in its ongoing goal to expand its food offerings, Starbucks announced that it is teaming up with renowned Italian artisan baker Rocco Princi, who operates five Princi specialty stores in Europe.

“You can feel the passion and craft that goes in to every morsel of food that he makes,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO. “I’ve been exposed to great culinary experiences around the world, and nothing comes close to what Rocco Princi creates.”

Princi will provide his signature artisanal baked goods to all new Starbucks Roastery & Tasting Room locations, including upcoming locations in Shanghai and New York. The experiential format, which debuted in December 2014 in Seattle, immerses customers in the craft of roasting and brewing fine small lot coffees from around the world.

“We’re going to be baking from scratch in our Roasteries the kind of food that perfectly complements our most premium coffee experience,” said Schultz.

Under a licensing agreement, Starbucks is also planning to open Princi stores, with the first location scheduled to open next year, in Seattle, The Seattle Times reported.

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